Cyber Warfare and Critical Infrastructure: Activities of the DoD and National Guard

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Major General Hayes will present and discuss cyber as a warfare domain and outline what Department of Defense and the National Guard are doing to defend and protect the nation from cyberattacks; critical infrastructure is at its nexus. Attacks by nation states or non-state actors on critical infrastructure pose a significant national strategic risk. Because a properly functioning critical infrastructure is essential to our economic and societal well-being, defending it is a national priority.


Major General Richard J. Hayes Jr. serves as Commander of the Illinois National Guard, serves as the Adjutant General and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor as a cabinet member for the Governor of Illinois. As Commander/Adjutant General, General Hayes is responsible for developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans in Joint Matters that affect the Illinois National Guard 13,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel. General Hayes provides the communication and coordination channels with all State, Federal and intergovernmental agencies in matters of domestic operations, domestic programs, Anti-terrorism/Force Protection security operations, military support to civil authorities, international affairs, intergovernmental and interagency cooperation, and strategic development to include 37 state agencies, 22 federal government agencies and organizations and 23 international government and international military commands. 

General Hayes is a nationally recognized expert in matters of Defense Support of Civil Authorities and has published numerous papers on improving the resilience of the nation and response to Stafford Act events. General Hayes, a career long traditional Guardsman, spent much of his working career in the engineering and construction sector designing and constructing critical infrastructure with a heavy emphasis on the electric grid, heavy civil (highway and rail), and natural gas sectors. He is an active member with the Electric Infrastructure Security Council and serves as a member of Illinois’ Executive Committee for Cybersecurity; he also serves on the CIRI External Advisory Board.